Books in this category are set in an earlier time period than the one in which the author is writing. They are essentially fictionalized accounts of historical periods, people, and events written in novel form. This means that a book written a long time ago, while possibly full of great historical details, is not necessarily historical fiction.
Accurate historical details are important in this genre; this means not only details pertaining to characters and events, but also geography, customs, culture, and anything else that makes a time period come alive. Characters in these books can be real (like Marie Antoinette), or fictional (see Elizabeth Chadwick’s Shadows and Strongholds), but they have to fit their times. Their actions, and the reasons for these actions, have to be true to the time period of the story. In other words, characters must act in a believable way within the context of their time period and setting. Historical fiction can vary; it can be based on a historical event or on a character, whether real or fictional. The best historical fiction authors will blend all this historical detail into the story so well that you don’t even realize you are getting a history lesson. You can learn an amazing amount of real historical facts and details from books in this genre, and for reluctant students, or for those that just enjoy history, these books are a painless and fun way to learn.
Historical Fiction Authors